An Innocent Man

An Innocent Man

by Billy JoelBilly Joel


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Recording The Nylon Curtain exhausted Billy Joel, and even though it had a pair of major hits, it didn't rival its predecessors in terms of sales. Since he labored so hard at the record, he decided it was time for a break -- it was time to record an album just for fun. And that's how his homage to pre-Beatles pop, An Innocent Man, was conceived: it was designed as a breezy romp through the music of his childhood. Joel's grasp on history isn't remarkably astute -- the opener "Easy Money" is a slice of Stax/Volt pop-soul, via the Blues Brothers (quite possibly the inspiration for the album), and the label didn't break the pop charts until well after the British Invasion -- but he's in top form as a craftsman throughout the record. Only once does he stumble on his own ambition ("This Night," which appropriates its chorus from Beethoven). For the rest of the record, he's effortlessly spinning out infectious, memorable melodies in a variety of styles, from the Four Seasons send-up "Uptown Girl" and the soulful "Tell Her About It" to a pair of doo wop tributes, "The Longest Time" and "Careless Talk." Joel has rarely sounded so carefree either in performance or writing, possibly due to "Christie Lee" Brinkley, a supermodel who became his new love prior to An Innocent Man. He can't stop writing about her throughout the album -- only three songs, including the haunted title track, aren't about her in some form or fashion. That giddiness is infectious, helping make An Innocent Man an innocent delight that unwittingly closes Joel's classic period.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/1998
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646938928
catalogNumber: 69389

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joel   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Harmonica,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Michael Brecker   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ronnie Cuber   Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Rob Mounsey   Synthesizer
David Sanborn   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
Finest Hour   Strings
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Dominic Cortese   Accordion
David Matthews   Horn
Michael Alexander   Vocals
Tom Bahler   Vocals,Background Vocals
Eddie Daniels   Wind
Liberty DeVitto   Percussion,Drums
Rory Dodd   Vocals,Background Vocals
Eric Gale   Guitar,Strings,Electric Guitar,Horn
John Gatchell   Trumpet
Lani Groves   Vocals,Background Vocals
Russell Javors   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Charles McCracken   Cello
Ullanda McCullough   Vocals,Background Vocals
Leon Pendarvis   Organ,Hammond Organ
Mark Rivera   Percussion,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals,Background Vocals
Joseph J. Shepley   Trumpet
Doug Stegmeyer   Bass
Richard Tee   Organ,Piano
Terry Textor   Vocals,Background Vocals
Toots Thielemans   Harmonica
Eric Troyer   Vocals,Background Vocals
Bill Zampino   Percussion
Mike Alexander   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ron Taylor   Vocals
Dave Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Joe Shepley   Trumpet,Horn
Frank Floyd   Vocals,Background Vocals
David Brian Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ron Taylor   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Billy Joel   Composer,Producer
David Matthews   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Michael Allaire   Engineer
Tom Bahler   Vocal Arrangements
Jim Boyer   Engineer
Scott James   Engineer
Phil Ramone   Producer
Bill Zampino   Advisor
Christopher Austopchuk   Cover Design
Mark Larson   Cover Design
Bradshaw Leigh   Engineer
Jen Wyler   Author,Authoring
John Naatjes   Tape Research

Customer Reviews

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An Innocent Man 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this cd, as does my 1.5 year old son!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have the cassette from years ago...have listened over and now upgrading to a is truly the 'best' of Billy Joel
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been listening to his music since the middle '80s. I've had a long-time crush on the man just for his voice. I will ALWAYS be able to rate him with 5 stars no matter what else he puts out!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago